On The Square

European Furniture Sold to Benefit Museums | July 13 at Skinner

By Skinner

Jul 10,2019 | 11:00 EDT

BOSTON, MA – Skinner, Inc. will hold an auction on July 13, 2019, of European Furniture & Decorative Arts. With over 500 lots in the sale encompassing fine silver, ceramics as well as furniture and decorative arts there is an item for both discerning collectors and novice buyers. Styles range from classic Georgian silver and early oak furnishings to elegant Belle Epoque tables and mantel clocks. Explore works from the 17th to the 20th century and see how you can mix periods and styles to create individual design-schemes in your own home.

The Furniture of Paul Sormani

Regarded as one of the most elite Parisian ébenistes of the 19th century, Sormani was born in 1817 in the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venice. Inspired by the work of the Royal maitres menuisiers et bronziers of the 18th century, he is best known for his pieces in the Louis XV and XVI style of which Skinner offers three examples in the July 13, 2019 auction.

Lot 443, Paul Sormani Kingwood- and Mahogany-veneered Ormolu-mounted Dressing Table; Estimate $500-$700

Internationally heralded after exhibiting in the exhibitions of the time, his work was described as ‘toute sa production révèle une qualité d’exécution de tout premier ordre’ (‘the whole of his production exhibits craftsmanship of the highest quality’). Upon his death in 1877, the firm came under the direction of Sourmani’s widow, Ursule-Marie-Philippine Bouvaist, and their son, Paul-Charles Sormani and was renamed “Veuve Paul Sormani & Fils.’” The firm merged wtih Thiébaut Frères in 1914, moving to 134, Boulevard Haussmann where it remained until it ceased trading in 1934.

Americans Abroad

Like their British counterparts, New Englanders have long felt the tug of continental Europe. In the 19th century, these ‘Grand Tourists’ would travel throughout Europe often purchasing furniture, paintings, and architectural models. These souvenirs would be shipped back home where they would furnish homes, serving as symbols of their owners worldliness and appreciation for European culture. Years later after being gifted to New England institutions such as the Harvard Art Museum and Clark Art Institute, these pieces are back on the market after a up for sale.

Lot 375, Japanned Cabinet on Stand; Estimate $5,000-$10,000

Highlights include a Japanned Cabinet on Stand (Lot 375, Estimate: $5,000-10,000) and an Italian Walnut Center Table (Lot 231, Estimate: $1,500-2,500).

Lot 77, Extensive Gorham "Paris" Pattern Sterling Silver Flatware Service; Estimate $10,000-$20,000

Other Highlights

An extensive Gorham “Paris” Pattern Sterling Silver Flatware Service for 24 with serving pieces (Lot 77, Estimate: $10,000-20,000). 

A George III Carved Giltwood Mirror (Lot 485, Estimate: $800-1,200).

A selection of Wedgwood including Wedgwood & Bentley such as a Pair of Wedgwood & Bentley Porphyry Vases and Covers, England, c. 1775 (Lot 189, Estimate: $4,000-6,000), Provenance: Milestone Collection sold by the Spak Collection of Wedgwood to benefit the Florida International University.

A Bronze and Marble Mantel Clock, France, 19th century (Lot 456, Estimate: $2,000-3,000).

A Victorian Sterling Silver Punch Bowl, London, 1891-92, Hunt & Roskell (Lot 21, Estimate: $5,000-10,000).

A Wedgwood Solid Black Jasper “Northwood” Copy of the Portland Vase, England, c. 1880 (Lot 351, Estimate: $15,000-25,000).

A Pair of Sevres-style Porcelain Bronze-mounted Portrait Vases and Covers (Lot 478, Estimate: $5,000-7,000).